My Citizens – the Caliph of Condiments, the Monarch of Mustards, YOUR TFD! – has at last deigned to share His first-begotten recipe for the ultimate spicy whole grain beer mustard found in so many pubs, restaurants and homes of distinction! This will become your go-to mustard recipe for this style of condiment and it has a long, distinguished and fascinating history spicing up the cuisines of so many countries, empires and ethnic groups all around the world!
Mustard is – of course – a condiment made from the seeds of a mustard plant (white/yellow mustard, Sinapis alba; brown mustard, Brassica juncea; or black mustard, Brassica nigra). The whole, ground, cracked, or bruised mustard seeds are mixed with water, vinegar, lemon juice, wine, or other liquids, salt, and often other flavorings and spices, to create a paste or sauce ranging in color from bright yellow to dark brown. The seed itself has a strong, pungent, and somewhat bitter taste. The taste of mustard condiments ranges from sweet to spicy.
Commonly paired with meats, vegetables and cheeses, mustard is also added to sandwiches, hamburgers, corn dogs, and hot dogs. It is also used as an ingredient in many dressings, glazes, sauces, soups, and marinades. As a cream or as individual seeds, mustard is used as a condiment in the cuisine of India and Bangladesh, the Mediterranean, northern and southeastern Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Africa, making it one of the most popular and widely-used spices and condiments in the world.
The English word ‘mustard’ derives from the Anglo-Norman mustarde and Old French mostarde (Modern French is moutarde). The first element is ultimately from Latin mustum, (“must”, unfermented grape juice)—the condiment was originally prepared by making the ground seeds into a paste with must or verjuice. The second element comes also from Latin ardens, (hot, flaming). It was first attested in English in the late 13th century, though it was found as a surname a century earlier.
Archaeological excavations in the Indus Valley (Indian Subcontinent) have revealed that mustard was cultivated there. That civilization existed until about 1850 BC. The Romans were probably the first to experiment with the preparation of mustard as a condiment. They mixed unfermented grape juice (the must) with ground mustard seeds (called sinapis) to make “burning must”, mustum ardens — hence “must ard”.
A recipe for mustard appears in De re coquinaria, the anonymously compiled Roman cookbook from the late fourth or early fifth century; the recipe calls for a mixture of ground mustard, pepper, caraway, lovage, grilled coriander seeds, dill, celery, thyme, oregano, onion, honey, vinegar, fish sauce, and oil, and was intended as a glaze for spit-roasted boar.
The Romans likely exported mustard seed to Gaul, and by the 10th century, monks of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris absorbed the mustard-making knowledge of Romans and began their own production. The first appearance of mustard makers on the royal registers in Paris dates back to 1292. Dijon, France, became a recognized center for mustard making by the 13th century.
The popularity of mustard in Dijon is evidenced by written accounts of guests consuming 320 litres (70 imp gal) of mustard creme in a single sitting at a gala held by the Duke of Burgundy in 1336. In 1877, one of the most famous Dijon mustard makers, Grey-Poupon, was established as a partnership between Maurice Grey, a mustard maker with a unique recipe containing white wine; and Auguste Poupon, his financial backer. Their success was aided by the introduction of the first automatic mustard-making machine.
In 1937, Dijon mustard was granted an Appellation d’origine contrôlée. Due to its long tradition of mustard making, Dijon is regarded as the mustard capital of the world. The early use of mustard as a condiment in England is attested from the year 1390 in the book The Forme of Cury which was written by King Richard II’s master cooks.
It was prepared in the form of mustard balls—coarse-ground mustard seed combined with flour and cinnamon, moistened, rolled into balls, and dried—which were easily stored and combined with vinegar or wine to make mustard paste as needed. The town of Tewkesbury was well known for its high-quality mustard balls, originally made with ground mustard mixed with horseradish and dried for storage, which were then exported to London and other parts of the country, and are even mentioned in William Shakespeare’s play King Henry the Fourth, Part II.
The use of mustard as a hot dog condiment is said to have been first seen in the US at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, when the bright-yellow French’s mustard was introduced by the R.T. French Company.
Mustard is most often used at the table as a condiment on cold and hot meats. It is also used as an ingredient in mayonnaise, vinaigrette, marinades, and barbecue sauce. It is also a popular accompaniment to hot dogs, pretzels, and bratwurst. In the Netherlands and northern Belgium, it is commonly used to make mustard soup, which includes mustard, cream, parsley, garlic, and pieces of salted bacon. Mustard as an emulsifier can stabilize a mixture of two or more immiscible liquids, such as oil and water. Added to Hollandaise sauce, mustard can inhibit curdling.
Mustard can be added to dishes as a primary spice, as is popular in East Indian cuisine. Added to mixed vegetables or fish curries, it can impart a unique flavor to some of the Indian and Nepalese recipes.
Spicy coarse-grained pub mustard made with beer is perhaps My all-time favorite condiment, and the version created by the Count of Condiments is no slouch in the flavor department (as one should only expect from the Sagacious One Himself!). The beer is – of course – a critical part of this recipe and I strongly endorse this classic British dark beer as My preferred choice and you can purchase it from here. For the vinegar, I call for a combination of sweet Pedro Ximenez sherry vinegar (buy it here) and tangy Apple Cider vinegar (I strongly endorse Bragg’s brand, buy it here).
I do call for a somewhat eccentric ingredient in my mustard recipe – the sharp, sweet and sour condiment known as Branston Pickle – it really amps up the flavor and you can easily buy it from here. I also call for Turbinado sugar (aka ‘Sugar in the Raw’ in the U.S. and Demerara Sugar in the UK) which has a more ‘caramel taste’ than standard white sugar and works perfectly in My recipe.
Try this superlative condiment on pretty much anything – I guarantee it will make you a convert to whole grain mustard and most especially to the Cult of Personality that is TFD Nation! 😀 This mustard would be an exceptional addition to any hot dog, but especially My Coney Island recipe.
Battle on – the GeneralissimoPrint
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